Many who attended this year’s MidemNet and Midem spoke of glowingly of how the industry had finally moved beyond issues of control to a spirit of collaboration: “Look at how the recording and publishing industries were working with the mobile sector” and “See how the RIAA has (kind of ) stopped suing fans”.
But where is the spirit of collaboration when three of the major record labels can’t come to terms with the most popular destination for new music discovery, YouTube? What kind of collaboration is happening when labels and publishers slow the progress of promising startups like Spotify and cripple others like Project Playlist, push popular sites like Muxtape offline, and sue small startups like Favtape for using openly available API’s in creative ways – all before their positive or negative impact on music revenue can be tested?
In some instances the sites and services being sued may have gone too far or never had any intention of sharing revenue. But others were in the midst of substantive talks with labels and publishers when they were served a lawsuit.